Mortality rates make for good epidemiologic fodder, but no statistic more clearly demonstrates the human impact of declining mortality rates in the dialysis patient population than counts of deaths prevented. On the facing page we display the number of deaths prevented in the prevalent population due to year-over-year changes in mortality rates. Between 2009 and 2010, for example, the rate fell from 19.3 to 18.5 deaths per 100 patient years. Had the rate in 2010 remained at 19.3 deaths per 100 patient years, rather than declining, more than 2,200 more deaths would have occurred than actually did.
On this page we illustrate the number of deaths prevented in the prevalent population due to changes in mortality rates since 2003. For frame of reference, the rate among dialysis patients alive on January 1, 2003 was 22.5 deaths per 100 patient years. In 2011, the rate had declined to 18.2. Had it instead remained at 22.5, more than 13,000 additional deaths would have occurred among the more than 343,000 prevalent patients.